If you participate in an automatic savings program like Bank of America‘s Keep the Change service, where debit card purchases are rounded up and the difference is deposited into your savings account, keep an eye on maintenance fees. James says he was hit with a $5 charge last month because he hadn’t met the minimum monthly deposit requirement of $25: “It turns out that I wasn’t even accruing $5 worth of change per month, so I was losing more money due to the maintenance fee than I was saving via Keep the Change!”
One unexpected benefit of the CARD Act, if it passes the Senate vote, is that Senator Charles Schumer of New York has included a provision that prevents abusive gift card practices.
Creative Labs has found a great new way to minimize the risk that a customer will actually benefit from a rebate offer. In Rick’s case, they sent him the rebate in the form of a $10 debit card that was supposed to be good until July 2009, but when he went to a Best Buy to use it last month, it was denied. The reason? He’d been charged a $3 “maintenance fee” every month since January.
Some customers who transferred their balances to Chase were hit with a new fee this month: a $10 monthly surcharge just for having the account in the first place. This $120 annual fee is pure profit for Chase and doesn’t get applied to the balance. Oh, and they’re doubling the minimum payment as well, although the sooner you pay off your Chase credit card and close it, the happier you’ll be.